Power options

One of the first installs for the towers were upgrades to make the power deliverable in a form that projects/people could use it. First, fuses so that it all doesn’t burn down (tower not as useful in charcoal form). https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RY8Y2QV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This includes having accessible USB ports, voltage meter, a cigarette adapter (for chargers/inverters), and powerpole connections for ham radio equipment.

The basics are already bundled together: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078K9NW7X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Add to that, a power pole outlet strip for the radios, and we’re good to go: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KQD9V3G/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Power in a trailer is not as easy as it looks. There are several use cases. It all has to be idiot/mistake proof. For ONB (Trailer #1), we thought of several situations:

  1. 8-10 hour urban running /ski event. Need about 1-2 amps to power a PTZ IP camera and a few mesh radios. The internal Group 27 marine deep cycle battery, and possibly on board solar as available (1A-2A- park in the sun) are fine. Figure you can draw 35 amps, and will need 18. The trailer is unattended. If we are feeding the Race Operatons Center, we might pick up a shore power feed.
  2. Hams in the Park. 2-3 hours of a 15-20 amp draw. All the mesh radios (4), PTZ camera. HF radio on high power. Generator power is noisy.
  3. Full on 72 hour emergency. All the mesh radios. LTE router. Local WiFi. Powering a field kitchen freezer. Two 150W AC LED floodlights. The on board 440 FM repeater (8A @12V) average. The missing persons database server, 3 apms @12V. A few cell phone charging. So we run the onboard propne generator 7×24 or pick up shore power. Any critical 115V AC loads can run on the inverter.
  4. 72 hour unattended use. Figure a few mesh radios. Add some outboard solar. 100W panels will need a charge controller. Parallel the two onboard batteries.
  5. Fancy urban event. The onboard generator is too noisy. Maybe grab some 12V off the tow vehicle via the 7 pin trailer wiring (not set up- all are 4 wire). Use the shore power and an “inverter” gasoline generator. Or a big solar plant.
  6. Garage storage. Needs to be fine plugged in or not. Some of the “automatic” 115V chargers and solar charge controllers draw 12V when the unit is not plugged in. Not good. The marine chargers (West Marine etc.) do not and can support 20A of 12V and one, two or three separate battery ban8-10 hour urban running /ski event. Need about 1-2 amps to power a PTZ IP camera and a few mesh radios. The internal Group 27 marine deep cycle battery, and possibly on board solar as available (1A-2A- park in the sun) are fine. Figure you can draw 35 amps, and will need 18. The trailer is unattended. If we are feeding the Race Operatons Center, we might pick up a shore power feed.
  7. Hams in the Park. 2-3 hours of a 15-20 amp draw. All the mesh radios (4), PTZ camera. HF radio on high power. Generator power is noisy.
  8. Full on 72 hour emergency. All the mesh radios. LTE router. Local WiFi. Powering a field kitchen freezer. Two 150W AC LED floodlights. The on board 440 FM repeater (8A @12V) average. The missing persons database server, 3 apms @12V. A few cell phone charging. So we run the onboard propne generator 7×24 or pick up shore power. Any critical 115V AC loads can run on the inverter.
  9. 72 hour unattended use. Figure a few mesh radios. Add some outboard solar. 100W panels will need a charge controller. Parallel the two onboard batteries.
  10. Fancy urban event. The onboard generator is too noisy. Maybe grab some 12V off the tow vehicle via the 7 pin trailer wiring (not set up- all are 4 wire). Use the shore power and an “inverter” gasoline generator. Or a big solar plant.
  11. Garage storage. Needs to be fine plugged in or now. Some of the “automatic” 115V chargers and solar charge controllers draw 12V when the unit is not plugged ion. Not good. The marine chargers do not and can support 20A of 12V and one, two or three battery banks.
  12. Camper /EOC support. Use the built in generator to provide 115V to the 17′ camper via a 30A AC (RV) plug. The camper built in furnace uses 4.5A of 12V for the blower. A longish 30A RV cord reduces noise. ONB has a 2 bank 12A marine charger. The idea is the computer/repeater rack runs on 12V and the shore power system (or generator) like a phone company central office which runs on 48V.
  13. Field Day. A very large 30 hour load. AC is fine – use the RV plugs and make “turtles” for long runs. Use the biggest quietest generators available and run shore power to the trailers that need it. So run in JGG and the other 6-8KW diesels. Or get power from the big motorhomes. The cheap 3600 RPM “portable” open frame generators are crazy noisy and make sleep and radio operation hard.

Inside the trailer, the old cigarette lighter plugs are limited in current and unreliable. The SAE 2 wire ones are ok, but are complicated as they are in two polarities. PowerPoles(r) seem good. A $20 five jack Powerole distribution box stuck on with hook and loop tape seems ideal.

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